Yarrow Blanket Service returns for 2023
Published on 20 July 2023 1 minute read
Worshippers are being invited to help recreate a bit of Scottish religious history with the return of the annual Yarrow Blanket Service.
The outdoor event has been held regularly each year with the odd disruption – most recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – since Victorian times, but its inspiration goes back further to the 17th century when Presbyterian Covenanter preachers and their followers were forbidden to attend church services so were forced to worship outdoors, with blankets their only protection against the elements.
The site of the Yarrow Valley service has an even older history. It takes place at the picturesque St Mary's Kirkyard overlooking St Mary's Loch. Records show that the kirkyard was a place of worship here as early as 1275, with the Yarrow Blanket Service just the latest chapter in its long history as a Christian site. It is also believed to have an important place in Scottish history as the possible location where national hero William Wallace was declared Guardian of Scotland.
This years' service will take place at 3pm on Sunday 23rd July with Rev Jim Wallace, the former minister of St. Andrews Leckie Parish Church in Peebles, leading the open-air service.
Lone piper Colin Turnbull will also be returning to encourage people as they make the short walk up the hill to the historic graveyard.
The service will be followed by an afternoon tea in aid of church funds at the nearby Cappercleuch Hall.